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The president applauded activists while highlighting the work that remains to be done for trans rights.

By Kimberly Truong
Mar 31, 2021 @ 2:16 pm
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President Joe Biden has become the first U.S. president to make a presidential proclamation recognizing Transgender Day of Visibility on Wednesday.

In a proclamation released on the White House website, the president noted generations of activism by transgender and nonbinary people.

"Their trailblazing work has given countless transgender individuals the bravery to live openly and authentically," Biden wrote. "This hard-fought progress is also shaping an increasingly accepting world in which peers at school, teammates and coaches on the playing field, colleagues at work, and allies in every corner of society are standing in support and solidarity with the transgender community."

Joe Biden
Credit: Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

He also highlighted the work that remains to be done, writing, "In spite of our progress in advancing civil rights for LGBTQ+ Americans, too many transgender people — adults and youth alike — still face systemic barriers to freedom and equality."

"Transgender Americans of all ages face high rates of violence, harassment, and discrimination," he continued. "Nearly one in three transgender Americans have experienced homelessness at some point in life.  Transgender Americans continue to face discrimination in employment, housing, health care, and public accommodations.  The crisis of violence against transgender women, especially transgender women of color, is a stain on our Nation's conscience."

Last year, a record 44 transgender people were killed in the United States, a majority of whom were Black and Latinx trans women.

Earlier this year, the Biden administration nominated Dr. Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of health. Dr. Levine made history as the first out transgender federal official to be confirmed by the United States Senate.

The Obama administration previously recognized Transgender Day of Remembrance from 2012 to 2014, while President Donald Trump did not recognize either Trans Day of Remembrance or Visibility.

In his proclamation, President Biden called on Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would grant LGBTQ+ people protections from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and more.

"I urge my fellow Americans to join us in uplifting the worth and dignity of every transgender person," he concluded.